Diana Kapp in WSJ: Girls’ Building Toys Might Improve STEM Skills

When I was a kid, Legos were the coolest toy ever. I don’t remember anyone telling me they weren’t for girls, but even if they had, I probably wouldn’t have listened.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal featured an article by Diana Kapp, “Can New Building Toys for Girls Improve Math and Science Skills?” [Article has been subsequently locked. Check out the video tab instead.]

The article references several products on the market aimed at girls 4-10, from GoldieBlox to Lego’s own Lego Friends line. While the ultimate goal for some of these companies is to, of course, turn a profit, there is significant interest in getting little girls to love tech and learn a bit about basic engineering.

Important notes:

– while spatial differences exist between boys and girls at younger ages, these differences can be overcome by practicing and using spatial skills which are improved by building toys

– research cited in the article shows that preschoolers who can arrange blocks into sophisticated towers will grow into teenagers likely to perform better on standardized tests

– despite the large amount of pastels, the goal isn’t to just “shrink and pink” boys toys

Be sure to check out the accompanying video.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: One day after this was posted, Tim Ferriss posted an article that included a more in-depth exploration of the GoldieBlox product. See here: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2013/04/24/how-to-online-business/

2 thoughts on “Diana Kapp in WSJ: Girls’ Building Toys Might Improve STEM Skills

  1. Hey,

    What’s your opinion on CPU Magazine at this time? I had cancelled MaxPC a few years ago because I was starting to get bored with it and because of the free PDFs online. I was considering starting reading it again, but noticed that they doubled the price since then for the print edition. Is CPU still catering to mostly Windows? Or has it improved? Also, is it even available in print? There’s no subscription link on their site, just the free PDF downloads.

    • No clue. I stopped reading basic computer mags a few years back because I found the information mostly uninteresting – and I was getting a lot more technical info online. The only mag I read with any frequency these days is Linux Journal, and that’s completely digital these days.

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